Monday, August 1, 2016

Betty Neumar, Suspected Champion Black Widow – 2008, USA


WIKIPEDIA – Betty Neumar, née Johnson (November 1931 – June 13, 2011) was an American woman charged with arranging the murder of her fourth husband, Harold Gentry, who died in 1986. Al Gentry, brother of Neumar's fourth husband Harold, had urged police to investigate his death for 22 years, prior to her arrest in 2007. Following this arrest, and learning of the fact that Neumar had had five husbands in total who had all died, the case generated much media interest in the United States, who dubbed Neumar the "Black Widow". On June 13, 2011 Betty Neumar died in a Louisiana hospital of an undisclosed illness.

• Husbands

Betty Johnson was born in November 1931 in Ironton, Ohio to Odis and Elizabeth Walden Johnson. She graduated from South Point High School in 1949.

She was married five times:

Clarence Malone (1950–1952) remarried twice after the couple split and died November 27, 1970 in Medina, Ohio;
James Flynn (? – 1955) was shot dead on a pier in New York in 1955;
Richard Sills (? –1965) died from an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained during an argument the couple was having in a closed room in their Big Coppitt Key, Florida home;
Thomas Harold Gentry (1968–1986) was found dead in the couple's Norwood, North Carolina home, shot multiple times;
and John Neumar (1991–2007) was found dead from apparent natural causes.

Mr. Neumar's cause of death was listed as sepsis, ischemic bowel, and ileus - symptoms that could point to death by arsenic poisoning. Additional reasons his death were considered suspicious came from Neumar's son, John Neumar, Jr., who told authorities he was not informed of the death until reading about it in a newspaper. When he contacted the widow about the death, he was told that his father had already been cremated despite having previously bought a burial plot.

• Investigation

In May 2008 Neumar was charged with hiring a hit man to kill her husband.

Investigators are taking a closer look at the deaths of her other husbands, three of whom had been shot dead.

Neumar was extradited to Albemarle, North Carolina in June 2008, a month after her arrest. She was charged with the murder of her fourth husband, Harold Gentry, by North Carolina officials after receiving a tip pointing to her involvement. The indictment alleges that Neumar "sought out a former police officer and her neighbor to kill her husband in the months before his death", with the motive allegedly being his $20,000 life insurance policy.

As of (December 23, 2012), none of the deaths of her five dead husbands are actively being re-investigated, as well as the death of her first child, Gary Flynn, whose 1985 death was ruled as suicide.

Neumar was released in October 2008 on a $300,000 bail bond.

Charged with three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, as of May 2009 Neumar remained free on bond while she waited for the trial. Investigators had the ashes of her fifth husband John Neumar seized, and analysed for traces of arsenic. The results were negative. As of November 2009, no trial date had been set

• BBC documentary

The case of Betty Neumar was the subject of a BBC television documentary, Black Widow Granny?, first aired on BBC One on 3 November 2009. The film featured interviews with friends and relatives, as well as an interview with Neumar, who had otherwise avoided the media.

• Death

On June 13, 2011 Betty Neumar died in a Louisiana hospital of an undisclosed illness. Police stated that they would look into her death.

In the "Matriarchs of Murder" episode of Investigation Discovery's anthology Deadly Women, writers claimed that Neumar's death was caused by cancer. [From Wikipedia]

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5 HUSBANDS

Husband #1 – Clarence Malone, married 1950-52, near Cleveland, died Nov. 27, 1970.
Husband #2 – James Flynn, married up to 1955, circumstances of death undetermined
Husband #3 – Richard Sills, married until 1965, died from an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained during an argument the couple was having in a closed room in their Big Coppitt Key, Florida home.
Husband #4 – Thomas Harold Gentry, 1968–1986, husband #4, shot to death Jul. 14, 1986, Norwood, Stanly County, North Carolina.
Husband #5 – John Neumar, married 1991-2007, died Oct. 2008, from an “infection.”

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Proxy violence is the most understudied form of violent crime.

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TIMELINE

Harold Gentry, Betty Neumar's fourth husband, was found shot to death in their Norwood, N.C., home in July 1986. Nearly 22 years later, Ms. Neumar was charged with three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder in Mr. Gentry's death and came under scrutiny in the deaths of her first child and four other husbands. A look at the events of the past year:

MAY 2008: Richmond County Sheriff's deputies take Ms. Neumar into custody. Later, they return to her Cambridge Court home in west Augusta to serve a search warrant and seize several items, including an urn containing the ashes of her fifth husband, John Neumar.

JUNE 2008: Ms. Neumar is extradited to Stanly County, N.C. More information surfaces about her previous husbands and their deaths, three of which were violent.

JULY 2008: Authorities indict Ms. Neumar on three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

OCTOBER 2008: Ms. Neumar is released from the Stanly County Jail after posting a $300,000 bond.

FEBRUARY 2009: A BBC documentary crew arrives in Augusta and travels to North Carolina and Florida as part of a documentary on Ms. Neumar. She conducts her first interview with the press for their program.

MAY 2009: Her attorneys are reviewing nearly 9,000 pages of discovery related to her case. A trial date has not been set.

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For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/12/champion-black-widow-serial-killers.html

More: Champion Black Widow Serial Killers

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2016/08/elderly-female-serial-killers.html

MORE: Elderly Female Serial Killers

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